Student Exchange Programme: What Must I Do?
When will you know and how do we tell you?
If you are selected for SEP, an email will be sent to your NUS email account to inform you that you have an internal offer in OPAS to accept or reject. The email will be sent about a month after the application deadline. If you are not successful, you will also receive an email to that effect.
One very important thing to note
Please think again if this SEP is for you. If you accepted the offer and subsequently need to withdraw, you will need to pay an admin fee of $300. You may of course write in to explain your situation but be prepared to pay. However, we will not be able to accept the following reasons;
Financial difficulties- we ask students to be completely certain that they can afford to go on SEP before they accept the offer; this is without the benefit of University financial assistance or SEP loan etc.
Problems in mapping modules- if you have very restricted major requirements, then it is best to check with your SEP coordinators as to the sort of major modules that you can read overseas. For example, Economics do not map essential and level 4000 modules.
Supporting documents to prepare
You have accepted the internal offer; you now need to prepare the supporting documents needed for the partner university to which you have been assigned.
In the email sent to you, we will have stated a deadline for the submission of these documents; please understand that we are subjected to the timeline given to us by our partner universities; any delay or request for extension on your part means that your documents will go to the partner universities late. As a result, we can no longer guarantee a place for SEP for you with that university. This is something outside of our control and you must be aware that your actions have consequences.
You will submit these documents to the FASS, Dean's Office by the given deadline (stated in the email).
Right, you've got all your papers ready and you sent them to the Dean’s Office, what now?
You will receive a letter of selection and certification of status from the Registrar’s Office or the Dean's Office. They will come in handy if you need to apply for credit cards or provide documentation to show that you are an NUS Exchange Student. You should keep the originals and make copies if needed.
At this point, all application materials will be collated and forwarded to the respective assigned partner universities for their consideration based on their stipulated timelines. Therefore the date that you submit your documents to the Dean’s Office does not mean that they are immediately sent to the partner universities. Please be patient and you will hear from the partner universities in due time.
Remember at this point, we are applying on your behalf to be accepted by the partner university as an exchange student. We still require the partner university's acceptance to confirm your exchange status.
It may take some time - more often than not months - before you receive news from the assigned partner university regarding your application. If the partner university requires more information, they may write directly to you.
If your application is successful, the assigned partner university will send you an Admission or Acceptance package about 1 to 2 months before the start of your exchange semester. If the Registrar's Office/Faculty receives the package, you will be notified by e-mail to collect the package. You should try to collect the package as early as possible because some partner universities set a deadline for the offer. If you do not reply by the deadline given, you will lose your place.
Also please be mindful of the fact that a lot of countries insist that you get your student visa in your home country and not in a third country so you may need to be in Singapore during that time to get your visa done. So we suggest that you should not travel and avoid joining another overseas programme while waiting for your acceptance package.
So you didn’t get the partner university that you want; in fact you did not get a place for SEP at all, can you appeal?
Of course you can appeal. Let me explain; the process of the selection for SEP starts with the department, then your application goes to the faculty. The department recommends on the basis of your CAP, your statement and the grades in your major modules and they may be quite strict with the grades. Some departments even impose stricter criteria than ours because they want more academically competent students to go for SEP. Also the choice of your 5 universities can also be crucial because the priority given to your choices drops as we moved down the list of your choices.
Please understand that some universities are also extremely popular and hence competition for the places is very fierce. We also get limited places from International Relations Office. This is because as most SEP agreements require parity in numbers (incoming and outgoing) and IRO cannot give us large numbers for those universities and a lot of students who choose them get disappointed.
Well if you have students who withdraw from SEP, can I be on the waiting list?
If you have already received an email saying that your application is not successful. That means that you are not on a waiting list, pending rejections of internal offers by other students.
If your CAP is reasonable, you will be informed that you are on the waiting list; we may offer another one or two rounds of internal offers to students.
But we are still constrained by the timeline given by partner universities for the submission of SEP applications from NUS. Therefore by end of the 3rd month after the deadline for application, the round will be officially over and by then all students who applied will have received a reply on their application status.
You had spoken to seniors about module mapping and you wonder what you need to do?
The FAQ on module mapping will give you more information. Please keep the original approved module forms for your own record. In the past, we used to ask students to submit a copy of the approved forms to the Dean’s Office but this is no longer necessary. You are adults and we trust that you will do the needful before heading off to exchange.
Also you need to be very clear on your degree requirements (majors, unrestricted electives, GEM/ breadth etc) and how far along you are in meeting the requirements, you will also need to be well-versed on the maxiumum number of credits you can bring back from overseas studies; you must be absolutely crystal clear about how the modules that you intend to read overseas will fulfill your degree requirements and you must be very sure of the definition of UEs/ Breadth.
There had been many instances of students who could not graduate on time because they were not clear about the above. They for example did not know that major modules read overseas cannot be used to count towards UE requirements. Unrestricted electives are modules offered by departments outside of your major department. Breadth modules are offered only by faculties outside of FASS; therefore modules that are FASS related cannot be count as breadths.I also had students who read far too many major module credits overseas and realised too late that not all of the credits could count towards their major and they were forced to have to extend their studies by one semester in order to complete their degree.
You worried that the courses you read overseas may not amount to 20 MC. How do the credits earned overseas translate into MC at NUS?
The basic rule is that a normal semester credit load of our partner university is equivalent to the same MC workload for a normal semester at NUS. Therefore depending on the credits loading of the overseas module, it can be equivalent to 4 MC or any other value.
The MC Exchange Ratios is listed on our FASS website. The FAQ section on this will explain it best.
Please also take care that you read a complete workload of credits while overseas based on the ratios indicated on the website. There have been instances where students missed their degree completion by 1 MC due to an incomplete workload at their partner university and had to extend their studies by 1 semester in order to graduate.
You finally received the Acceptance/Admission packages from the Partner University? What do you do then?
Well I suggest opening it up to read the instructions given to you by the partner university and making sure that you complete all that they need from you to ensure your exchange is secured. You can also start the process of getting your students visa and air tickets, arranging for accommodation etc. You will take care of this by yourself as our office does not have the staff strength to assist you.
If you receive the package directly from the partner university, we also want you to inform us through that you have received it; this is important as it will impact your status in the coming semester.